Are Plant-Based Bottles Still Plastic?

Published: 22 June 2011
Category: PET (polyethylene terephthalate), Packaging CONCERNS, Sustainability

According to “Slate,” despite all the buzz, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s plant-based bottles are still plastic. The companies have replaced the fossil fuels (petroleum and natural gas) traditionally used to make plastic bottles with ethanol from renewable sources (plant waste in Pepsi’s case and Brazilian sugar cane in Coke’s). Though these initial inputs come from renewable, lower-carbon sources, the resulting plastics are chemically identical to the polyethylene terepthalate, or PET, and high-density polyethylene, or HDPE that regular plastic bottles are made of. And once the inputs become plastic, they carry all the same environmental impacts as plastic made from fossil fuels.

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